tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC July 18, 2017 9:00am-10:00am PDT
their job now. >> i regret the effort it repeal and immediately replace the failures of obamacare will not be successful. that doesn't mean we should give up. we will now try a different way to bring the american people relief from obamacare. i think we owe them at least that much. >> we're going to have to pull our ranks together it seems to me to get it done. there is a lot of -- a lot of infighting. >> it is a bill that simply repeals, i believe that will add to more uncertainty. >> dine and dash. president trump wining and dining senate republicans just before the bill's collapse. with an awkward get well message for john mccain. >> and i can tell you, we hope john mccain gets better very soon. because we miss him. he's a crusty voice in washington, plus, we need his vote. >> and humble brag.
president trump short on legislative wins, still claiming that he beats all his predecessors. >> we have signed more bills and i'm talking about through the legislature, than any president ever, for a while harry truman had us. now i think we have everybody. i better say think, or they will give you a pinocchio. >> you wouldn't want those pinocchios. good day, i'm andrea mitchell in washington where senate majority leader mitch mcconnell is running out of options, falling back on a 2015 plan for a straight obamacare repeal now that the first two senate bills are dead. the trump white house stunned by monday night's tweets from republican senators jerry motra and mike lee, minutes after the president wrapped up a dinner with senators who were already
on board with the legislation. the president tweeting, pushing for full repeal, blaming democrats, calling on senators to let obamacare fail. joining me now is casey hunt on capitol hill and kristen welker at the white house. welcome, both. casey, what is going on up there today? mitch mcconnell coming out with this plan, repeal, place later, repeal effective later in fairness and replace during that duration. already we're sensing opposition. is there enough opposition to stop it from getting to the floor? >> that is a distinct possibility, andrea. we're still trying to figure that out. one top gop aide who i spoke to said, look, the lunch they're about to have behind closed doors, all republicans with mcconnell, is going to be explosive. and i think that's really the sense here, i talked to many senators who say, look, i
want to hear this from mitch mcconnell, i want to hear what is his plan, how does he think that this is going to go forward. they -- leaders said all the way
along that there are not the votes for a repeal without replace. that
has been the underlying truth that has caused all of this debate that we have been covering. their strug le to write a bill that would repeal and also replace simultaneously obamacare. so it is pretty clear that that support that has not changed. so the question has become, okay, are there enough republicans who are willing to try and let this process play out, the thinking being if mitch mcconnell can get this bill on the floor, then you will see anything could happen. perhaps they could actually get it done. but now we know that susan collins is not willing to do that. it seems like shelly mar capito isn't willing to do that either. we're waiting to hear from other moderates, waiting to get a definitive anser from rand paul. this entire enterprise feels like it is teetering on the brink. senator blunt who is close to mcconnell, a member of
leadership, told one of our colleagues, frank thorp, that he sees this as being on a path to normal committee processes that would involve trying to get 60 votes. that seems like a remarkable admission to me about what might go on next. but, again, that lunch that is set to happen here in just about an hour, i think, is going to be crucial and tell us everything we need to know or potentially everything we need to know about the future of this bill. >> you have been staking people out, talking to people along the way, let me play a little bit of rob portman and susan collins, two very important voices on this. >> i'm concerned about something that would simply repeal and its impact on cost and choices in health care. >> i'm going to oppose the motion to proceed. i voted against this approach in 2015. >> but there was a majority in favor of the approach in 2015, not all were members of the senate at the time, though. and you've got -- back to your
last point there, john mccain issued a statement from his sick bed where he's recuperating from surgery, saying let's go to regular order, let's have hearings, let's have, you know, debate, let's work with democrats basically. and that's probably where they should have started in first place maybe, but for mccain to have someone issuing that or he issuing that, from where he is in arizona, recuperating, is very telling indeed. i want to go to kristen, though. what was the heads up to the white house crack legislative strategy team that lee and moran were going to defect after that dinner at the white house last night? >> they didn't get a heads up, andrea. they were completely surprised by the tweets. they were left flat footed. i spoke with one senior administration official who said, look, they didn't get a heads up at the same time. they knew this bill was in very perilous condition. the question becomes, why was the president meeting here with senators who supported the bill? well, i have been told that the strategy and the thinking that
it was full steam ahead, that president trump wanted to consult with veteran senators like lamar alexander, roy blunt, john cornyn, people who were no stranger to tough legislative battles, he thought he could map out a strategy and then move forward and get this bill over the finish line. it is a miscalculation on the part of the white house. and obviously a big defeat and setback for this president who has campaigned on a promise to repeal and replace obamacare. that's why you're seeing the white house really push this new strategy, andrea, to repeal and then replace later. because the president feels as though he's got to fulfill that campaign promise. remember, he doesn't have any major legislative victories yet. this was the first victory he was looking for. and without getting health care reform, without getting rid of those obamacare taxes, it makes broad tax reform very difficult. and it complicates the rest of his domestic agenda, frankly. so that is why you're seeing this plan b go into effect.
but as you and casey have been talking about, it is very politically perilous. there is no guarantee they're going to get the votes and even if they did, there is no guarantee that at the end of the day democrats would come to the table and try to work with them on the replacement plan, andrea. >> and, of course, john mccain and his message last night, there is another message to john mccain and i don't mean the one that the president issued saying he is crusty, but they need his vote. this is a tweet from mitt romney. want to share that with everybody. mitt romney saying, spoke with this morning with john mccain at john mccain re his health, tax reform, syria. a true timex hero, he takes a licking and keeps on ticking. that's the john mccain we all know and respect and wish him well. they need his vote, but need him more than just his vote, they need his brain and his spunk and his intelligence, especially on russia and a lot of other stuff. >> classic mitt romney too, i
might say. but, yes. and, look, as we talked about yesterday, the halls of congress not quite the same with john mccain missing. i think there are senators on both sides of the aisle who would feel that way. and, look, i think, you know, he has been -- he's somebody -- he and mcconnell have been around a long time. they know each other. mcconnell's office is frustrated by mccain's willingness to say what he thinks. often in very quotable terms. and so that has been something that has frustrated them from time to time. at the end of the day, mccain has usually been with mitch mcconnell and he was somebody that they were counting on to try and move this bill forward. look, if they get to the point where they actually think they can undertake this new plan, it is looking like they will need mccain to be back and able to vote for this because we do have those two people, suez san coll and shelly mar capito.
he is joining the chorus and has been pushing mcconnell to do it this way, to go back and do this through regular order, try to get 60 votes, try to get democrats on board. that is kind of the attitude he's taken all the way along. i think as one that clearly, you know, he would prefer, even if he's willing to be with mcconnell on tough votes at the end of the day. i think there a question around the strategy here, is mcconnell saying to the white house, hey, look, i'm going to prove to you this strategy is going to fail or something he wants to do. we'll find out on what he says to senators behind closed doors. >> any chance we'll see the president today or hear from him? >> it is possible they will add some events. look, we don't have any public events on this schedule yet. and so it is possible they could add something. i know that i've been talking to white house officials here who say this is something that the president would potentially would want to weigh in on. it is possible, though no word
on that yet, andrea. >> kristen welker, casey hunt, thank you for starting us off. joining me now here is ron kl n klain, chief of staff to vice president biden and michael steel, former press secretary to speaker john boehner. he must be the happiest man around. >> happy, happy man. he saw this coming. he called it. looks like the way it is playing out. >> a lot of merlot and golf and other things not connected to repeal and replace. when you look at strategy here though, michael, mitch mcconnell has pulled so many rabbits out of so many hats over the years. and this may be another tactical act of genius, but it looks more like desperation than genius. >> i think that when voters gave republicans control of the house, the senate and unexpectedly the white house last year, they laid out an aggressive strategy to move a partisan repeal and replace effort, only gop votes, using reconciliation process. they felt they owed voters that
attempt. it faltered in the house, the house persevered, they did its job. now it looks like casey it probably right they'll fail to get to enough votes for the motion to proceed to get on the bill in the senate. i think this wail probably lead to this being put on the back burner, while trying to work with democrats, go through the committee process and make progress on health care reform that way. >> what happened to them needing the savings from health care reform to get to taxes? >> there is no question it makes it more difficult. it doesn't reset the baseline the same way, makes it much more difficult to hit the goals in tax reform. tax reform has been tough and there has been ongoing discussions, even while health care has been on the front burner. their ongoing discussions among secretary mnuchin, mr. cohen, the speaker, senator mcconnell, senator hatch and chairman brady. >> no conversations with chairman brady. >> of the ways and means committee. >> you got to bring democrats into this to try to get past
this kind of gridlock. people voted to disrupt the system and drain the swamp. those who voted, you know, for donald trump, clearly. and they are the base is still sticking with them. 50% of trump voters staying with them. he's got those approvals and even higher approval in the swing districts that really went big for him. >> yeah, i mean, look, trump's core voters are going to stay with him until the bitter end, whatever that is. he won the election because a bunch of voters expected him to deliver results. he was going to be the art of the deal president, going to make deals and get things done. when he won primaries, he said, i'll work with democrats, get things done. instead, we're seeing no work and no deals. the spectacle yesterday, so out of touch with what was going on capitol hill, that he was playing in a fire truck, as a signature legislative plan was going down the tubes, shows just how out of touch he is. he is a twitter president. twitter is a one way means of communicating. he needs to get on the phone, get in the room, if he's going
to be effective, he needs to communicate two ways with the people on capitol hill, not just one way. >> and part of that problem is here he brings the house republicans into the rose garden to celebrate the success of a one house vote on legislation. he keeps pretending these are bill signings, they're not. whether they're executive orders or
announcements of a survey, or some kind of study, and then he demeans them by saying, they voted for a mean bill, he's lost the trust of a lot of house republicans. >> i don't know in is any question we haven't seen the sort of sustained focused disciplined effort from the president himself that is usually necessary to get big things done in washington. >> isn't that the staff? doesn't he from the chief of staff on down legislative strategy have to have a team around him? ronald reagan didn't know all the players, but he was given note cards and eventually learned their names. >> if you look at the diaries, he was meeting day in and day out, personally engaged on make
prog gres a progress, and he had a couple of big priorities and worked tirelessly on those goals like tax reform and got them done. >> kid reporter at the southwest gate, staking out all the arrivals for people coming in at night to go upstairs to the yellow oval room and meeting with them one by one by one. >> and having been a white house staffer what the staff needs to know is where the boss wants to go. the problem with donald trump on health care is, he just contradicts himself every single day. the house bill was too mean, the senate bill needs more heart. we kneneed to get rid of all ofe rules. staff can't execute on trumpism if it is incoherent, intere contradictory and changes every single day. >> ron, you also worked in white houses where there were multiple power centers, for instance
strong first lady competing with a strong vice president or strong secretary of state competing with another strong vice president on foreign policy. how do you navigate all of these power centers when it is family, not just a spouse, which is a big player obviously, but also the children. >> i think the setup is completely untenable to have, you know, his son-in-law, the principle adviser, his daughter is another senior adviser, the whole white house engaged in rewriting or changing statements by another son who is under investigation, i mean, it is a terrible, terrible setup. but i do think the core problem is there is no core here at all. if there is no plan for the staff to follow, it is hard to know where they're supposed to go. that's what we're seeing on the health care thing. all trump wanted was a bill to sign, send me something, and that's not presidential leadership. the president has to say what he wants in it, how he wants it done and engage people.
we haven't seen that from donald trump. >> to mitch mcconnell taking the floor, why didn't donald trump come out last night or this morning, command the podium in the rose garden, and say, okay, enough is enough. i was elected to get stuff done. they're not getting it done. and we're now going to sell something -- >> i think he should have. i think he should have been doing that working over the weekend rather than at his club. i think he should have been calling senators, working the phones, trying to find consensus, trying to provide the encouragement to coalesce around a solution. we're not seeing that. that's why i'm reluctant to blame staff or anyone else. vice president pence seems to be doing a great job. the white house staff seems to be doing everything it can. >> michael steel, ron klain, great to have you both here, thank you so much. coming up, compound interest. russia's new threat over their suspected spy outposts. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. your joints...
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russia today threatening to retaliate if washington does not return two large compounds. those mansions that the u.s. seized to punish moscow for hacking the 2016 election. former intelligence director james clapper telling me on this program ten days ago there is hard evidence no doubt that the maryland compound in particular was used for espionage. joining me is michael carpenter, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense for russia, ukraine and eurasia, the senior
director at the pan biden center for diplomacy and global engagement. good to have you here. there has been so much speculation about was there collusion, whatever that means, not a legal term. is there any doubt from what you know about russia's abilities that they needed some american help? some u.s. help from some sector whether it was the campaign or elsewhere to understand the really precise microtargeting that they made into precincts in the midwest that really could have turned the tide? >> no doubt in my mind, just as the campaign would need a ground game to be effective, the russians needed their own ground game. >> they don't know these districts in mccomb county and, you know, grand rapids, michigan, how to get the vote out in wilkes-barre, pennsylvania. >> they could sequester a bunch of intelligence agents in moscow and have them study -- watch msnbc and study nate silver's blog for six months. the reality is they try to penetrate u.s. political
circles. that is their mo. that's one of their number one goals. and it is clear that that's what they were trying to do. and meeting with donald trump jr. is one example. there are many others of russian cutouts reaching out to u.s. persons to gain more information. >> is this witting or unwitting or both? >> could be both. >> and when they reached out to don jr., classic mo, so someone who knows him well, with whom he's done business, reaches out to him, the most illustrative indicator of his intent, his motive, is his response. i would love it, especially later in the summer when the election is heating up. but we don't know very much more about what happened because there have been so many changing stories. the initial story was about adoption. adoption is sanctions because it is -- >> code for sanctions, yeah. >> this is a classic modus operandi for the russian intelligence services to reach out through someone who has an
established relationship, get a meeting, and then pitch this dirt on hillary clinton in order to see what they could get in return, the problem is not that they wouldn't deliver that immediately, but down the road after further conversations. >> what we know from the american side is that this was the top level, this was the brain trust of the trump campaign at the time in june. >> absolutely. they got into the inner circle of -- as close as you can get to the candidate himself. >> we also know that there are so many different investigations going on, we don't know what mueller is doing, but they are following the money on manafort. what do we know in the past from manafort's connections to russian interests in ukraine. >> well, manafort worked for the most corrupt leader of ukraine in its independent history. and he worked for the party of regions. they are known as being a very corrupt actor in ukrainian politics. the fact he was working for them for so many years, he was
embedded in that system of corruption, of patronage, and so that's where he came from when he came to the trump campaign. and no doubt brought a lot of the contacts with him as well. >> if you're hiring paul manafort, is it -- is it believable? is it credible they were hiring paul manafort because he was a great delegate counter in the '70s when he was in earlier republican campaigns? >> could be that he's great at pr and that's why they hired him. but clearly he came out of that system and so he was embedded in that sort of corrupt entourage. i'm not making any specific allegations with regards to him personally. i don't know him. but he came from a system that was as deeply corrupt as any country that i've ever worked in or with. >> and had not filed as a foreign lobbyist until way after the fact. the other piece of it is mike flynn, hasn't been mentioned lately, but he was the national secured adviser. and had been cleared for that by the trump team during
transition. yet at the time with representing interests in turkey. >> yeah. there has been a lot of changes of stories about who met with whom or didn't, what their conversations entailed. and to my mind, this is all the more reason why we need not just the mueller investigation, but we really need an independent commission. we need a 9/11 style commission to get to the bottom of the totality of what russia was up to in its influence operation in the united states. we need to look at everything, the cyber, the disinformation, the covert operations, so that we can reconstruct all of this and prepare ourselves the next time they try and do this. i have no doubt they will try again. >> what do you say to those including the president of the united states who says this is just opposition research, it happens in all political campaigns? >> i don't think most political campaigns do opposition research with foreign adversary government. that's just -- that just doesn't happen. >> and you've never in your experience heard of anyone getting this kind of overture from russia or if they did, they
would have gone to -- >> russia makes these sorts of overtures all the time. i see this all the time in the countries i use ed to work on at the pentagon and before at the nsc and the state department. this is exactly how they operated in places like georgia, or mull dooldova or ukraine. they try to penetrate circles they think are sympathetic or aligned with their interests and this is exactly,0 how they operate. it is rather bold and brazen they tried it here in the united states. but it is unusual for an american political candidate to accept this sort of offer of information from a foreign government. and not just a foreign government, but an adversary of the united states. russia views the united states as enemy number one. and, you know, as a pentagon official, i've seen them target us in so many ways. militarily in terms of military equipment and new systems coming onli online. this is not just working with the uk or friendly government. this is one of our number one
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and we're back with break news from the washington post, which is reporting the identity of an eighth person previously undisclosed in the room at that meeting with donald trump jr. at trump tower last june. quote, an american based employee of the russian real estate company took part in a june 2016 trump tower meeting between a russian lawyer and donald trump jr., bringing to eight the known number of participants in the session that emerges as a key focus of the investigation of the trump campaign's interactions with russi russians. it was confirmed by scott barber. barber said that he worked for
the agalarov's company and was a representative. he said he received a phone call from a representative of special counsel robert mueller over the weekend requesting the identity of the representative, which he said he provided. the request is the first public indication that mueller's team is investigating this meeting. nbc news has not independently confirmed that report. michael carpenter is still with me. the significance of this is you have a representative of the agalarovs, we have seen them at birthday party for the son, and now he was represented as well at this meeting with the campaign. >> well, this is sort of, again, the classic russian mo, bring someone in with some sort of connection to the two parties so he knows the agalarovs, and the agalarovs or the older one is fairly close with mr. trump. what concerns me more is the russian intelligence officer and how he may have been relaying
information to the group that was assembled there in trump tower. >> he described as a former intelligence officer, someone who lives here in the u.s., but -- >> very few former intelligence officers in russia. >> once you're part of the family, that's it. >> that's it. >> michael carpenter, thanks again for your expertise. and meanwhile, a team of six teenage afghan girls are here in washington this week, competing in their first robotics competition. this is a day the afghan girls thought would never come. their visas were rejected twice by the state department. they made two dangerous 500 mile trips to the u.s. embassy in kabul from their home. but at the last minute, president trump intervened and made sure the visas were granted. and today on the final day of competition, ivanka trump stopped by at dar constitution hall to wish the girls good luck. the afghan girls are up against teams from 157 countries. they're eager to prove
themselves. >> why was it important for you to be here? >> it is important to be here because i'm showing the talent and ability -- >> showing the talent and ability of afghan women? >> yes. and can improve in robotics section. i want to keep our flags on. >> you wanted to show that afghan women could compete in the robotics? >> yes. >> and make a robot? >> yes. >> and also to show the flag of afghanistan. >> what? >> you wanted to show the flag of afghanistan? >> yes, yes. >> the -- they were wonderful. they're learning english and also learning science, s.t.e.m. under the taliban rule there was no education for children for women and girls. and then finally with laura bush and karen hughes and others under george w. bush's white house they began to get coeducation and girls education.
they had much less time to prepare because of the visa problems, the afghan team is not expected to take top honors but they can win one of the prizes today for teams that have a can do attitude who have shown they can overcome obstacles and certainly these girls have shown that. for more, tune into to "nbc nightly news." we'll show you more of the competition. ready to deal. with the senate health care bill dead at least for now, will democrats be willing to work with republicans on a new health care plan? we'll talk to maggie hasan, democrat from new hampshire, joining us next. before fibromyalgia, i was on the go. i kept on top of things. then the chronic, widespread pain slowed me down. my doctor said moving more helps ease fibromyalgia pain. he also prescribed lyrica. fibromyalgia is thought to be the result of overactive nerves. lyrica is believed to calm these nerves. woman: for some, lyrica can significantly relieve fibromyalgia pain
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they release medicine fast, for fast pain relief. tylenol® and joining me now from capitol hill is maggie hasan, a member of the health, education, and labor and pensions, front and center in key part of the health care cris i the crisis, opioid epidemic. i want to talk to you about that. we do have breaking news at this moment, we understand that another senator murkowski is saying that she would oppose the motion to proceed. we don't know, you know, the numbers yet, but doesn't appear that they have the 50 votes for a motion to proceed. >> well, thank you, andrea, for having me on today. that's what i'm hearing too. and, look, the plan that senator mcconnell has been putting
forward since last night, this repeal bill from 2015 would cause premiums to skyrocket, 32 million americans to s ts to lo health insurance coverage and eliminate medicaid expansion so critical in my state and many others in addressing the heroin crisis. it is an irresponsible plan. i'm heartened to hear that senator murkowski joined senator collins and capito to say she won't proceed. we need to really talk about how we move forward to improve the affordable care act, fix what isn't working well and build on the health care system we have so all americans have access to affordable health insurance so we can all be healthy and strong and our country can thrive. >> i wanted to play a little bit of the comments we got in. let me play that for you. >> sure. >> motion to proceed on this repeal and then replace?
>> i'm not there. >> not there? >> nope. >> would you vote against a motion to proceed. >> i said in january we should not repeal without a replacement, and indefinite hold on this just creates more chaos and confusion. >> thank you, senator. >> i think we also heard from rob portman he had some concerns about it, doesn't mean he's a firm no. doesn't appear this is going to go anywhere unless he can turn some democrats. >> well, i don't think you're going to see any democrats voting to proceed with a bill that would as senator murkowski's comments just indicated create chaos in the marketplace, rip health care coverage away from 32 million americans, cause our premiums to skyrocket and undermine seriously our efforts to combat the opioid crisis. we have ideas in the democratic caucus about how to move forward and bring health care costs down and stabilize the market. among other things we have to bring prescription drug prices
down and so we should be allowing the importation of safe and affordable prescription drugs, we should allow medicare to negotiate with form supharmal companies for prices. those are some ideas we have to help us bring down costs. we have other ones, just on the floor talking about how we could stabilize the insurance market and further bring costs down too. that's where our attention should be. and i am hopeful that this means we will return to regular order. i'm a member of the help committee that sets health policy in the united states senate. we would like to have a hearing on health care reform and how to move forward. >> you as everyone lives it day in and day out, but you have a special interest, tell me about your son ben and how people like ben benefit from the coverage, coverage that would not be available if obamacare is repealed. >> right. so my husband tom and i are blessed with two terrific children. our oldest is ben who is 29, and
happens to have very severe and invasive pae ivive cerebral pal. ben can't speak or walk or use his fingers to access a keyboard, but he has a smile that lights up the room and he can communicate with very basic gestures. you know, ben obviously has a lot of pre-existing conditions. should the protections for people with pre-existing conditions go away, he would be deeply impacted. he has a lot of medical care that is actually covered by medicaid, not our family's private insurance because even though our private insurance is excellent insurance, most private insurance doesn't cover the kinds of supports and extra care that someone like ben needs in order to be able to live at home and be a member of his community. my husband and i are incredibly aware of both the strengths and the flaws of our health care system. at times ben had as many as nine or ten doctors and up to 20 medications, so we know that
there are improvements we need to make, we certainly have to do more to bring the cost of health care down. but, you know, in order for us to be productive as a country, people have to be able to be healthy. we heard story after story as i just did in new hampshire on friday from people who got coverage through medicaid expansion, whether for substance abuse or some other kind of health care need, and are now working some of them working for a private entity and getting private insurance now. so there is really a possibility to move forward. it starts with the basic principle that every american counts, every american deserves access to affordable health care and when we do, we get healthy and thrive together. >> thank you so much, senator, thanks for your perspective, your first person experience with them, with your family and what you have done as a family. it is very meaningful. thank you. >> thank you very much. i appreciate that. take care now. >> you too. coming up, deal breaker, the effort to repeal obamacare goes down again after a long
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replace? >> i'm not there. >> not there? >> nope. >> you vote against the motion to proceed? >> i said in january we should not repeal without a replacement, and just an indefinite hold on this just creates more chaos and confusion. >> thank you, senator. >> so let's get the inside scoop from casey hunt, robert costa, washington post national political reporter and moderator of washington week and msnbc political analyst and sam stein daily beast politics editor and msnbc contributor and ruth marcus washington post deputy editorial page editor and columnist. you have so many titles, i can't keep up. >> sorry. >> first to you, casey, is murkowski the final significant no vote? >> the count puts her at number three, which as you know very well, andrea, is enough to mean that this motion to proceed on the latest iteration of mcconnell's plan to repeal
obamacare is -- seems destined to fail. they could only lose two votes, first lost collins, then capito and lisa murkowski with garrett sench hi saying this plan will not go forward. mcconnell proprosed shored-up conservatives. since i saw you last, we spoke to senator rand paul who said he's inclined to be supportive. senator paul, lee, all those conservative senators on board but these moderates it looks like are sending this plan to the dust bin before they've even had a chance to sit down to lunch and talk about it. >> so robert costa, how did the white house get so blind-sided? the president was having dinner maybe with the wrong senators, with the senators already on board, and then did not even know what lee and moran were about to tweet. >> monday night's scene was really telling. you had the president invite these leadership allies like senator cornyn to the white house for a cozy dinner, for a gut check, an assessment about
whether everything stood on the health care bill. meanwhile, while the establishment allies are having dinner with the president, senator lee and senator moran and others are prepared to break from the bill. you had this disconnect throughout the republican party and throughout this entire whipping process where they never really were close to the votes because of the schism that exists within the gop. >> ruth marcus, what does it tell you about the legislative strategy and about the disconnect between the president and capitol hill? >> well, usually at the very least, if you were going to do this to the president of your party you might give him a heads up. there's no indication of that. you might give him a chance to let the president talk you out of this position or something. >> or call the chief of staff. >> yeah. and how could they have not known? i don't think we know the whole story, but it is one of the many befuddling aspects of the last 24 hours. >> and the president has just
spoken at a photo opportunity, sam. we'll be hearing that momentarily. he was with vice president pence and mcmaster. you also have disagreement on the foreign policy front where his own team arguing with him about the iran nuclear deal. they had to recertify it by midnight last night. they weren't sure what to do because the president wanted to tear it up as he said. but iran has been complying and every other member of the international coalition and the international energy -- atomic energy monitors say iran is living up this deal, no matter what else they're doing. >> there is something poetic and much to the delight of the obama administration officials that i've spoken to today about both health care reform failing on the same night that the iran nuclear deal is formally certified as iran being compliant. the obama legacy -- >> here is the president. >> sure. >> let's hear what he had to say. >> thank you very much. thank you. >> mr. president, are you angry at the republicans who won't sign on to the bill?
>> disappointed. very disappointed. [ inaudible question ] i'm certainly disappointed for seven years i've been hearing repeal and replace from congress and i've been hearing it loud and strong and when we finally get a chance to repeal and replace, they don't take advantage of it. so that's disappointing. so i'm very -- i would say i'm disappointed in what took place. it will go on and we'll win. we're going to win on taxes. we're going to win on infrastructure and lots of other things that we're doing. we've won and are winning the war as you know on the border. we're very much decimating isis. you can see that. you see that better than anybody sees it. the soldiers that are with us today. we've had a lot of victories, but we haven't had a victory in health care. we're disappointed. i am very disappointed because, again, even as a civilian, for seven years i've been hearing about health care and i've been hearing about repeal and replace, and obamacare is a total disaster. some states had over 200%
increase, 200% increase in their premiums. and their deductibles are through the roof. it's an absolute disaster. and i think you'll also agree that i've been saying for a long time let obamacare fail and then everybody's going to have to come together and fix it and come up with a new plan and a plan that's really good for the people with much lower premiums, much lower costs, and much better protection. i've been saying that, mike, i think you'll agree for a long time, let obama fail. it will be a lot easier. i think we're probably in that position where we'll just let obamacare fail. we're not going to own it. i'm not going to own it. i can tell you the republicans are not going to own it. we'll let obamacare fail and then the democrats will come to us and say how do we fix it, how do we fix it, or how do we come up with a new plan. so we'll see what happens. there's some other things going on right now as we speak. but i am disappointed because for so many years i've been
hearing repeal and replace. i'm sitting in the oval office right next door pen in hand waiting to sign something, and i'll be waiting and eventually we're going to get something done and it's going to be very good. but obamacare is a big failure and it has to be changed. we have to go to a plan that works. we have to go to a much less expensive plan in terms of premiums and something will happen and it will be very good. may not be as quick as we had hoped but it's going to happen. okay? [ inaudible question ] well, they were not disloyal. they had their own reasons. i was very surprised when the two folks came out last night because we thought they were in fairly good shape, but they did. and, you know, everybody has their own reason. but if you really think about it, you look at it, and we have 52 people. we had no democrat support, which is really, you know, something that should be said.
we should have had democrats vote. it was a great plan for a lot of people. we had no democrats aboard. we are 52 people. we had four noes. we might have had another one somewhere in there but eventually the vote would have been pretty close to, you look at it, 48-4. that's a pretty impressive vote by any standard. and yet off vote of 48-4 or something like that and you need more. it's pretty tough. so the way i look at it is in '18 we're going to have to get some more people elected. we have to go out and we have to get more people elected that are republican. and we have to probably pull in those people, those few people that voted against it. i don't know. they're going to have to explain to you why they did and i'm sure they'll have very fine reasons. but we have to get more republicans elected because we have to get it done. we got it passed in the house. we would have gotten it very much -- you can't use his head as a stand, right? we don't want that to happen. you're messing with the wrong
guy here. i think we're going to do very well in '18. i would be not surprised if something were done long before that. but in any event, because the margin is so small, the majority of the ma gin is so small, we have to get more keps elected in '18 and i'll be working very hard for that to happen, okay. it would be nice to have democrat support, but really they're obstructionists. they have no ideas. they have no thought process. all they want to do is obstruct government and obstruct, period. and in this case, think of it. so many good things we didn't get one vote and their plan has failed. and by the way, obamacare isn't failing. it's failed. it's gone. so i think something's going to happen. we'll find out. stay tuned. thank you all very much. >> that is a remarkable exposition. sam, i interrupted you p the president of the united states blaming democrats for the failure of the republican party
to pass their version, which they did without letting democrats into the room. >> amazing. he could have theoretically started this process by going to a joe manchin and saying what do i need to get your vote? he never once stepped into west virginia, a state he won by 40 points. he will let obamacare fail and try to get democrats to the table in part by letting it feel. that is a deeply cynical strategy that could result in a lot of people losing insurance coverage, higher premiums, it could roil the markets and he's willing to roll the dice. >> robert costa, there was a letter from blue cross/blue shield this weekend attacking the ted cruz compromise amendment saying it would destroy the marketplace. that was the big last-minute option from mitch mcconnell. >> there was talk on the right wing of the republican party about getting rid of some of these relegations as a way of lowering premiums. that was never able to really
cobble consensus together. >> and ruth marcus, for the president to talk about the midterm elections is conceding that they aren't going to get anything done until 2018? >> there were so many remarkable things there. that among them. in that context, i mean, he can talk about how he's going to let obamacare fail and the democrats are going to own it and it would have the sort of human consequences that sam talked about. but i wonder from the political point of view if you're a republican senator or house member up in 2018 and you are listening to the president assert democrats are going to own it, you're thinking, whoa easy for you to say, buddy nap's not so clear to me. when you have unified government and republicans in control of anything, when people's health care goes south, i think that betting on them to blame democrats is a very dicey bet. >> going to have to leave it there. ruth marcus, sam stein, kasie hunt, robert costa, that does it for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports."
a lot of news today. follow the show online on facebook and twitter. chris jansing is up next right here on msnbc. hey, chris. >> understatement, lot of news happening. thank you so much, andrea. good afternoon. i am chris jansing at msnbc headquarters in new york. so here we go. we've got a lot to talk about starting with that broken promise. after two more republicans derail the gop health care plan, republican leadership is scrambling to deliver on their seven-year-long promise to repeal obamacare. can mitch mcconnell get enough of his party to back a repeal and delay plan? alternate reality. president trump blames democrats for health care failure, sees record low approval ratings as not bad, and his press secretary on the record with an explanation for the russian meeting that don junior's own e-mails disprove, even as questions are raised about his physical fitness for the job. and minneapolis mystery. mounting questions about a police officer who shot and killed an unarmed